tv CBS Evening News With Katie Couric CBS September 24, 2010 4:30pm-5:00pm PST
>> couric: tonight, president obama fires back at the president of iran for suggesting the u.s. government was behind 9/11. >> for him to make a statement like that was inexcusable. >> couric: i'm katie couric. also tonight, land of lakes. flooding in the upper midwest forces hundreds out of their homes. a bizarre bank robbery in florida. thieves turn a teller into what appeared to be a human bomb. and colbert tries to develop a rapport with congress. >> i'm not a fan of the government doing anything, but i've got to ask, why isn't the government doing anything? captioning sponsored by cbs from cbs news world headquarters in new york, this is the "cbs evening news" with katie couric.
>> couric: good evening, everyone. the gathering of world leaders at the united nations here in new york this week has not done much to improve relations between the united states and iran. in fact, president mahmoud ahmadinejad strained them even further when he said most of the world believes the u.s. government orchestrated the 9/11 attacks to benefit israel. today, president obama responded. chief white house correspondent chip reid is here covering the united nations meeting. chip? >> reporter: well, katie, today president obama came out swinging, but there is no sign the iranian president is backing down. president obama had strong words today for iranian president ahmadinejad who suggested in a speech at the united nations yesterday that the u.s. government was behind the 9/11 attacks. >> well, it was offensive, it was hateful. >> reporter: especially, he said, because the comments were made not far from ground zero. >> where families lost their loved ones, people of all
faiths, all ethnicities. for them to make a statement like that was inexcusable. >> reporter: in an interview intended to air in iran, mr. obama also called the statement disgusting and said it stands in contrast to the response of the iranian people after 9/11. >> when there were candlelight vigils and i think a natural sense of shared humanity and sympathy was expressed within iran. >> reporter: today the iranian president defended his remarks and called for an investigation of the 9/11 attacks. u.s. officials say it's just the latest in a long line of deeply offensive remarks by ahmadinejad, from denial of the holocaust to calling for israel to be wiped off the map. but demonstrating once again how wildly unpredictable he can be, ahmadinejad also today met with sarah shourd, the american hiker recently freed from iran. she pleaded for the release of her fiance and a friend who are still captive in iran. >> i believe my case set the
precedent for their release. >> reporter: in another surprise ahmadinejad today suggested that iran is prepared to restart talks on its nuclear program, which the u.s. insists is intended to produce nuclear weapons. that could be a sign that tough u.n. sanctions against iran are working, but experts say it could also simply be more double talk. >> these words can be read at face value, but i think that would be foolhardy and i think we need to look very carefully to make sure that the actions out of tehran actually match the words. >> reporter: the white house says the iranians have not officially agreed to resume the talks, so for now they say it could be a serious proposal, or it could just be words. katie? >> couric: chip reid. chip, thanks very much. a very strange story in south florida today. a bank robbery morphed into a hostage drama involving what may have been a human bomb. as it all played out near the university of miami, highways were shut down, schools locked
down and kelly cobiella reports even now the police are not completely sure what happened. >> reporter: for four hours, swat teams had the coral gables bank of america surrounded. inside, reports of a bank teller with a bomb strapped to his chest. police believed he was the lone hostage in a bizarre robbery. >> this is very upsetting to me. this just doesn't happen in our neighborhood. >> reporter: yet there was no shootout or explosion. the standoff ended with the supposed hostage being led out of the bank in handcuffs. 25-year-old bank teller diego uscamayta. >> we were able to secure the bank, secure the safety of the individual, and be able to deactivate the device. >> reporter: the bank teller claims the robbery plot actually began here at his apartment the night before. he claims three armed men wearing masks broke in, kidnapped him, then eight hours later drove him to the bank. uscamayta says one of the men
stayed behind, holding his father hostage. the other two, he claims, ordered him to go inside the bank with the bomb strapped to him and bring back cash while they waited in the parking lot. >> he said we have a remote triggering device, we want you to get as much money as you possibly can and bring it out to us. >> reporter: it's happened once before. seven years ago in erie, pennsylvania. pizza delivery man brian wells died after a bomb strapped to his neck by bank robbers detonated. it's still unclear whether wells was in on the plan. >> there's an active search for the vehicle as it got away, yes. >> reporter: police say the robbers got away with an undisclosed amount of cash, but many questions remain. how was uscamayta able to free himself from the bomb and when did the alleged third robber get away? the f.b.i. is pressing uscamayta for answers. kelly cobiella, cbs news, miami. >> couric: in the upper midwest, two days of heavy rain has led to serious flooding across four states with southern minnesota the hardest hit area.
heather brown of cbs station wcco is in zumbrota. i understand the rain may be over but in many places people still can't go back to their homes. >> reporter: no, they can't, katie. towns across minnesota look a lot like this park, several feet of floodwater covering the land. they've overturned buildings, they've damaged cars, but what really shocked people the most was how quickly these waters rose. record rainfall in a single day. in pine island, minnesota, jerome and his family woke up to six feet of water in the basement. >> this is the worst anybody's ever seen it around here. >> reporter: as much as ten inches in 24 hours stretching across 150 miles of the upper great plains. some people were able to sandbag but many didn't have time to protect their homes. now people are salvaging what they can. >> it's a mess. everything down there is gone. >> reporter: in orinoco, minnesota, water pouring through an open dam was powerful enough to rip apart this bridge.
at least a dozen families were forced to evacuate as rushing water overturned cars. nearby, a front loader carried some people to dry land and streets were lined with sandbags as homeowners anxiously watched. >> when it gets to a certain point, then you start worrying. >> reporter: is that now? >> yeah, that's now. >> reporter: 90 miles east in wisconsin, floodwaters carved sinkholes in streets and floodwaters forced hundreds from their homes. >> we've been lucky in the past with minimal damage. today we're not quite so lucky. >> reporter: the rivers in southern minnesota have started to go down, but the same storm system is expected to cause some flooding in the suburbs of minneapolis next week which could potentially affect many more people. katie? >> couric: heather brown of our cbs station wcco. heather, thanks so much for that report. in other news, congress provides plenty of material for stephen colbert. today he returned the favor testifying before a house subcommittee in character as a faux commentator. not the strangest thing that's ever happened on capitol hill,
but close. congressional correspondent nancy cordes was there. >> reporter: with stephen colbert at the witness table, this congressional hearing felt more like open mic night. >> i certainly hope that my star power can bump this hearing all the way up to c-span 1. >> reporter: the fake conservative t.v. host was invited to testify about the plight of migrant farm workers after he accepted a challenge on his show. >> i'll do it. >> reporter: to spend a day packing corn or picking beans. >> are there any beans in the shade? when you're picking beans you have to spend all day bending over, it turns out-- and i did not know this-- most soil is at ground level. if we can put a man on the moon, why can't we make the earth waist high? >> does one day in the field make you an expert witness? >> i believe one day of me studying anything makes me an expert. >> it's standing room only in there right now. >> reporter: outside the hearing, fans lined up like they would for a taping.
>> i think america needs some truthiness laid upon it. >> my great grandfather did not travel across 4,000 miles of the atlantic ocean to see this country overrun by immigrants. he did it because he killed a man back in ireland. >> reporter: some republicans called it a stunt. >> maybe we should be spending less time watching comedy central and more time considering the real jobs that are out there. >> reporter: democrats argued many celebrities have come before congress. >> elmo's testifying on capitol hill. >> reporter: but elmo's testimony was family fare. some of colbert's was not. >> i don't want a tomato picked by a mexican. i want it picked by an american. then sliced by a guatemalan and served by a venezuelan in a spa where a chilean gives me a brazilian. >> reporter: at the end of the hearing, even colbert acknowledged this issue is no laughing matter. >> this seems like one of the least powerful people in the united states are migrant workers who come and do our work, but don't have any rights as a result.
and yet we still invite them come here and, at the same time, ask them to leave. >> reporter: and if this was a bid for publicity, it certainly worked. consider this: just a couple of weeks ago, that same house subcommittee for citizenship and immigration held a hearing and not a single camera showed up. today there were dozens, katie. >> couric: not just another day at the office, right, nancy? >> right. >> couric: thanks so much. and still ahead here on the "cbs evening news," the odd couple. both are overcoming obstacles on and off the track. and new prescriptions for dealing with a growing form of drug abuse. [ robin ] my name is robin. and i was a pack-a-day smoker for 25 years. i do remember sitting down with my boys, and i'm like, "oh, promise mommy you'll never ever pick up a cigarette." and brian looked at me at eight years old and said, "promise me you'll quit." i had to quit.
♪ my doctor gave me a prescription for chantix, a medication i could take and still smoke, while it built up in my system. [ male announcer ] chantix is a non-nicotine pill. that stays with you all day to help you quit. in studies, 44% of chantix users were quit during weeks 9 to 12 of treatment, compared to 18% on sugar pill. it's proven to reduce the urge to smoke. ask your doctor if chantix is right for you. and find out how you can save money on your prescription at chantix.com. some people have had changes in behavior, hostility, agitation, depressed mood and suicidal thoughts or actions while taking or after stopping chantix. if you notice agitation, hostility, depression or changes in behavior, thinking or mood that are not typical for you, or if you develop suicidal thoughts or actions, stop taking chantix and call your doctor right away. talk to your doctor about any history of depression or other mental health problems, which can get worse while taking chantix. some people can have allergic or serious skin reactions to chantix, some of which can be life threatening. if you notice swelling of face, mouth, throat or a rash
stop taking chantix and see your doctor right away. do not take chantix if you've had a serious allergic or skin reaction to chantix. tell your doctor which medicines you're taking as they may work differently when you quit smoking. chantix dosing may be different if you have kidney problems. the most common side effect is nausea. patients also reported trouble sleeping and vivid, unusual or strange dreams. until you know how chantix may affect you, use caution when driving or operating machinery. chantix should not be taken with other quit-smoking products. ♪ my benjamin, he helped me with the countdown. "ben, how many days has it been?" "5 days, mom. 10 days, mom." i think after 30 days he got tired of counting. [ male announcer ] talk to your doctor about chantix. find out how you can save money on your prescription and learn terms and conditions at chantix.com. find out how you can save money on your prescription thais...peggy. whatng usa pris problem, please? peggy? sure...well...suddenly it looks like i'm being charged a $35 annual fee. yes? tell me it's a mistake. yes?
are you saying yes or are you asking yes? yes? peggy? peggy? anncr: want better customer service? switch to discover. ranked #1 in customer loyalty. it pays to discover. >> couric: in some ways, this country's drug problem has moved from the street corner to the medicine cabinet. seven million americans over the age of 12 abuse prescription drugs every year. tomorrow, national correspondent dean reynolds reports, a nationwide program will take on the problem by taking back unused medications. >> reporter: it's heartbreaking for bernie strain to talk about his dead son. >> one day he joked that his autograph would be worth something. >> reporter: timmy was 18 last year, recovering from a burn wound, when his girlfriend's mother offered him what were thought to be painkillers left over in her medicine cabinet.
but they turned out to be methadone. timmy took the pills and died that night. timmy is one statistic in a sea of troubling numbers. nationwide, there were 13,800 accidental overdose deaths from prescription painkillers in 2006-- triple the number from 1999. more deaths than from heroin and cocaine combined. >> most of those pharmaceutical drugs originate in our medicine cabinets in our home. >> reporter: the d.e.a.'s take- back program is designed to get unwanted drugs out of medicine cabinets before unwitting youngsters, confused adults, or thieves can get to them. the returned drugs will be incinerated. the d.e.a. has set up 4,000 dropoff locations across the country where people can turn in their drugs anonymously. and the agency's web site dea.gov, will identify those locations according to zip codes. the number of people requesting treatment for addiction to painkillers has gone up 400% from 1998 to 2008.
and at a chicago drug treatment center, officials hope the take- back program is just the start of an effort to counter the trend. >> i would hope that they would have an ongoing effort. you can't... you're not going to really have an impact on these kinds of problems by a one-day effort. >> reporter: haunted by his son's death, bernie strain lobbied washington for a program like the one the d.e.a. is inaugurating this weekend, and he'll be supervising one of the dropoff sites in philadelphia. >> when i'm at my busiest time with this issue, i can let it go to try and help someone else. >> reporter: and try to save a life. dean reynolds, cbs news, chicago. >> couric: in other news, last night we told you the founder of facebook is donating $100 million to help schools in newark, new jersey. today mark zuckerberg appeared on oprah, along with two new friends-- mayor cory booker and governor chris christie-- to explain why. >> i've had a lot of
opportunities in my life and a lot of that comes from having gone to really good schools and i just want to do what i can to make sure that everyone has those same opportunities. >> couric: no one is questioning the generosity of the gift, but some are questioning the timing. a less-than-flattering movie about the founding of facebook called "the social network" opens nationwide next week. and coming up next, remembering eddie fisher. ♪ oh, to me you are so wonderful... ♪ so wonderful... ♪ until you look at the gumline. the problem is, you could have plaque along your gumline that can lead to gingivitis. in fact, one in two adults actually has gingivitis and might not even know it. fortunately, there's new
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fiorina tripled her salary. bought a million dollar yacht. and five corporate jets. i'm proud of what i did at hp. [ male announcer ] carly fiorina. outsourcing jobs. out for herself. [ barbara boxer ] i'm barbara boxer and i approve this message. >> couric: one of the nation's biggest churches has been rocked by allegations its pastor forced male teenagers into sexual relationships with him and today the alleged victim, now 22, filed suit against bishop eddie long. he is pastor of the new birth missionary baptist church with 25,000 members outside atlanta. long held a conversation call today with members of the congregation asking for their prayers. he is expected to publicly address the allegations from the pulpit on sunday. it's becoming a recurring role for actress lindsay lohan-- inmate. the 24-year-old starlet went to court hoping to be released on bail.
she failed a drug test violating probation stemming from a 2007 drug and drunk driving case. but the judge ordered lohan back to jail until late october. her third time behind bars in three years. if those entertainment news shows were on back in the 1950s, eddie fisher would have provided them with plenty of stories. he had just the right mix of celebrity and scandal. the news came today that the one-time pop star died this week of complications from hip surgery. richard schlesinger has the eddie fisher story. ♪ oh, my papa... >> reporter: eddie fisher was a crooner and a cad. he had it all. born the son of a grocer in philadelphia, he eventually had more than 40 hit songs. he was the dreamy heartthrob of the early '50s who married america's sweetheart, debbie reynolds, before shocking the world by leaving her for elizabeth taylor. in the day, how big a scandal was that?
>> big deal. big scandal. >> reporter: one thing, as they say, led to another. three more marriages, including one to connie stevens. then bouts with addiction and gambling cost him his fortune. >> these things helped destroy his career. he really plummeted after this. >> reporter: when he couldn't compete with rock and roll, he tried kiss-and-tell. he wrote two autobiographies describing himself as elizabeth taylor's nursemaid, claiming he only married connie stevens because she was pregnant and calling debbie reynolds a self- centered phony. they had two children together, including carrie fisher. >> naturally my children are very upset that eddie had to pass on. >> reporter: debbie reynolds reacted to the death of her ex- husband as many ex-wives might. >> i know that god has forgiven him and that he's in a good place. >> reporter: eddie fisher was 82 when he died, out of the limelight he loved and lost. richard schlesinger, cbs news, new york.
>> couric: bing crosby, who died in 1977, was not only a great singer but a rabid baseball fan and part owner of the pittsburgh pirates. he was so nervous when they got into the 1960 world series with the yankees, so afraid of jinxing them, he went to paris and followed the games on the radio. but, he had someone record the telecast and now 50 years later that film of the deciding game seven has been discovered in crosby's wine cellar. the only known full recording of the game many consider one of the greatest ever played. the lead went back and forth until crosby's beloved pirates won it 10-9 off bill mazeroski's homer. and in december, m.l.b. will let the rest of the world see the entire game for the first time in a half century. everyone knows there is no crying in baseball. and starting this season, no whining in basketball. today, the n.b.a. said it's cracking down on overt gestures
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>> couric: we began this broadcast with an argument between two world leaders and we end with a story of friendship involving young women from the same two nations. seth doane tells us both are pros at getting over obstacles wherever they find them. >> reporter: in motocross, one of the fastest-growing extreme sports, riders tear through rugged terrain. they'll tell you the sound of the roaring engine is a guide whether to shift gears or if competitors are gaining ground. but this is how ashley experiences it. ( no sound ) the 19-year-old is deaf. >> yeah, of course, motorcycles, riding them a hearing sport, really. being deaf, you have to rely on the vibration. >> reporter: this 110 pound girl throws around a 220-pound bike, turning a childhood passion into
a full-time profession. >> sometimes it's frustrating for me being deaf because i think people look at me that way and think that i'm not capable. >> reporter: pushing her to become a two time x-games gold medalist. ashley is among the fastest female motocross riders in the world. and half a world away another young rider was watching, inspired by her story. >> i was sure i will someday meet her. >> reporter: nora grew up in iran. there, almost everyone told her that riding motocross was not something a girl should do. >> i thought she's somehow like me. >> reporter: so nora started e- mailing ashley. "in iran we can hardly ride," she wrote "but i don't give up. one of my big dreams is to see you." and that came true when ashley's sponsor flew nora to the u.s. to compete. though it hardly seems competition is what formed
between two young women each facing their own obstacles. >> we both have some challenge. for her the deafness, and for me being female rider in iran. >> reporter: while nora lost the race, she gained a friend and a role model in ashley. together they showed determination which makes life's twists and turns easier to navigate. seth doane, cbs news, new york. >> couric: and that's the "cbs evening news" for tonight. i'm katie couric in new york. thank you for watching this week. i'll see you again monday. until then, have a great weekend and for the latest news online, go to cbsnews.com. good night. captioning sponsored by cbs captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
your realtime captioner is your realtime captioner is your realtime captioner is linda marie macdonald. caption colorado, l.l.c. 2.5 million of you about to get your water a new way. why billions are going under san francisco bay. as for the gas pipe that destroyed part of the san bruno neighborhood, we have just gotten new reaction from pg&e on that much talked about corrosion theory. and california is about to resume executions, only this time, the condemned have one final lethal choice in the matter. good evening, i'm juliette goodrich. >> i'm dana king. >> for years now we have watched that massive bay bridge construction project unfolding above san francisco bay. well, today one started beneath the bay and for the very same reason. len ramirez joins us from menlo